Controversial Victory: BJP Edges Past ‘INDIA’ Alliance in Chandigarh Mayoral Clash

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Chandigarh, January 30, 2024: The Chandigarh mayoral election of 2024, billed as a crucial test run for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, concluded on Tuesday with a dramatic twist, leaving the city divided and political parties locked in a bitter war of words. BJP candidate Manoj Kumar Sonkar emerged victorious without allegations of foul play and a legal challenge from the opposition ‘INDIA’ bloc, comprising the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress. The result, a narrow BJP victory, was met with accusations of foul play, sparking protests and legal challenges that continue to cast a shadow over the outcome.
The Chandigarh mayoral election 2024, held on January 30th, was much more than just a local poll. It became a microcosm of the larger political landscape in India, playing out a high-stakes battle between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition INDIA bloc, a recently formed alliance between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Indian National Congress (INC).
A Tight Race: The contest was nail-bitingly close, with Sonkar securing 16 votes out of 36, including that of MP Kirron Kher. The INDIA bloc’s nominee, Kuldeep Singh, had garnered 20 votes, but eight of these were deemed invalid by the presiding officer, tilting the scales in favor of the BJP. This decision sparked immediate outrage from the AAP and Congress, who termed it “blatant manipulation” and “murder of democracy.”
A Tight Race and Contested Votes: The election itself was a nail-biter. BJP candidate Manoj Kumar Sonkar emerged victorious, securing 16 out of 36 total votes, including the crucial vote of ex-officio member Kirron Kher MP. However, the INDIA bloc’s candidate, Kuldeep Singh, received 20 votes. The twist came when eight of Singh’s votes were declared invalid, handing Sonkar a narrow victory.
Videos Stoke Controversy: Fueling the fire, both parties released videos allegedly showing the presiding officer marking and tampering with ballot papers. These videos went viral, adding to the growing sense of anger and suspicion. AAP chief Kejriwal called for a re-election, while Punjab Congress chief Warring demanded strict action against the officer.
High Court Takes Notice: Amidst the chaos, the opposition approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking a stay on the result and an investigation into the alleged malpractices. The court issued notices to the Election Commission and other respondents but declined to stay the result while the hearing was pending.
BJP Defends Win: Undeterred by the accusations, the BJP celebrated Sonkar’s victory as a vindication of the party’s development agenda in Chandigarh. Party spokesperson Sunil Bansal dismissed the allegations as “baseless” and urged the opposition to respect the democratic process.
Uncertainty Casts a Shadow: The Chandigarh mayoral election has not only delivered a close-fought victory but also opened a Pandora’s box of accusations and doubts. The legal process will determine the final outcome, but the episode has left a deep scar on the city’s political landscape. Whether it serves as a harbinger of things to come in the Lok Sabha elections remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Chandigarh has witnessed a battle won but trust badly bruised.
The High Court, while refusing to stay the results, issued notices to the Election Commission and other parties. The legal battle is ongoing, with both sides presenting their arguments and evidence. The city and the nation eagerly await the final verdict, which could potentially overturn the election result.
The Chandigarh mayoral election of 2024 is far from over. It remains a story of victory, controversy, and courtroom battles, with the final chapter yet to be written. Whether it serves as a harbinger of change or a mere local blip in the national narrative, one thing is certain: the city, the nation, and the world are watching.

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Ritu Singh seasoned news hunter with ink in veins and truth as a compass. Cuts through spin, exposes hidden agendas, decodes power plays. Unwavering voice for accountability, amplifying unheard stories. A watchdog who sleeps with one eye open, keeping democracy on its toes

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